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February 23, 2005

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Dana Loschiavo (609) 984-1423

DEP Offers Federal Funds to Local Organizations to Support Wildfire Protection

(05/16) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the availability of $300,000 in federal funds for local organizations throughout New Jersey to help promote wildfire protection in their communities.

“The safety of New Jersey residents is the state’s top priority,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “These funds provide organizations with the resources necessary for community specific action, resulting in a higher level of safety from the dangers of wildfire, an opportunity that I encourage communities in New Jersey to take advantage of.”

“This funding will help local communities become fire-wise, reducing risks to lives and property,” said Commissioner Campbell. “The matching grants strengthen our partnership with towns and local fire departments in preventing, and responding to, wildfires.”

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service will provide reimbursement of up to $5,000 spent by a qualifying organization on projects associated with the National Fire Plan program goals.

The grants are funded by the National Fire Plan, an effort initiated by Congress in 2002 to develop a coherent strategy to protect Americans from wildfire.

New Jersey volunteer fire departments, counties, towns and local service and civic organizations may apply for the funds through the Community Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant program. Activities eligible for reimbursement under this grant program include reducing excessive vegetation accumulations; participating in prescribed burning projects; developing wildfire protection and preparedness capabilities; and implementing wildfire awareness and educational programs. Related costs associated with the planning or logistical support of these projects may also be eligible for reimbursement. Applications are due by June 30, 2005.

The DEP is committed to protecting life and property, as well as New Jersey's natural resources, from destruction by wildfires. Each year an average of 1,500 wildfires damage or destroy 7,000 acres of New Jersey’s forests. Since people cause 99 percent of all New Jersey wildfires, citizen awareness is the single most effective method of preventing further wildfire damage.

DEP’s Forest Fire Service administers the Community Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program. To receive a grant application, call (732) 833-4847 or visit the Web site at



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Last Updated: February 23, 2005